(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
It’s not loud – and no explosives are involved – but the Highland Park Improvement Club‘s New Year’s Eve “Sage Comet” always puts the fireworks to shame. That’s Chris Huson spinning the briefly blazing display tonight outside HPIC, following the fourth annual “Not-So-Silent Night Parade“:
Highland Park’s big party is actually still under way right now – since midnight hasn’t arrived yet – with a special edition of HPIC’s “Corner Bar,” which usually happens the first Friday of the month – and you’re welcome to go join the fun at 12th/Holden:
Meantime, more of WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams‘ photos from the parade and show that started the night are ahead:
Even with brilliant sunrise and sunset in the books, and fireworks to come, this very simple light is also likely bringing some smiles this New Year’s Eve – Mary McNeight from Service Dog Academy sends word (and photo) that the new Genesee/Avalon traffic signal has been turned on and is in flashing red/yellow mode, three days after the lights themselves were installed. As noted here, the light is a community-requested Neighborhood Street Fund project.
The final day of 2012 began with a glorious sunrise … and made way for New Year’s Eve with a glorious sunset. Thanks to Doug Branch for the top photo, taken from Beach Drive; the photo below was tweeted by Lori Williams:
Anything in particular you’re hoping for in the New Year – simple or grand, neighborhood or personal? We asked the question on the WSB Facebook page over the weekend (just as it turned the odometer to 9,000 “likes” – thanks!) and you can see the replies here; add your own if you have a 2013 wish/hope/dream!
We like to think of the end of the year as a time to look ahead more than to look back. But one particular year-in-review list has become a tradition here on WSB – the “most-commented-on” stories of the year. The 2012 top 10 is actually the top 11, because of a tie at numbers 5/6 (depending on which way you’re counting). Here’s the countdown:
10. FIRST WEEKDAY COMMUTE WITH RAPIDRIDE AND RESTRUCTURING – 139 comments – October 1, 2012
First weekday after Metro launched the RapidRide C Line and a fleet of “restructuring” changes on other routes.
9. ICY THURSDAY, AFTERNOON UPDATES – 141 comments – January 19, 2012
Wintry weather always means lots of WSB commenters sharing information to help each other stay safe.
8. GOAPE ZIPLINE PROPOSAL SCRAPPED – 142 comments – July 11, 2012
The day after hundreds crowded into a special Fauntleroy Community Association meeting to hear for the first time from Seattle Parks about a proposal to allow a commercial zipline/ropes course attraction in Lincoln Park – and to almost unanimously decry it – Parks announced it was shelved.
7. LAFAYETTE PRINCIPAL EXPLAINS NO-COSTUMES-ON-HALLOWEEN DECISION – 143 comments – October 16, 2012
Lafayette Elementary didn’t ban Halloween and didn’t ban costumes. But the staff did decide not to allow costumes on Halloween itself (a shortened school day), and that led to much discussion, plus an explanation from the principal.
6. OCCUPY WEST SEATTLE ANNOUNCES WEST SEATTLE RALLY – 145 comments – March 12, 2012
We published Occupy West Seattle’s first announcement of a rally/protest – targeting Chase Bank in The Junction. Much discussion followed (the event itself was relatively low-key).
It’s a tradition at Providence Mount St. Vincent – West Seattle’s earliest New Year celebration. So early, it just wrapped up, nine hours before 2013′s local arrival. Among the revelers, Gwen:
Gwen has seen more than 80 new years arrive, we learned, and is looking forward to another one. While we couldn’t stay for the whole thing, we were told they were expecting to wrap up by dancing to the song for which 2012 will be remembered (bet you can guess which one).
Popular question for these days between Christmas and New Year’s: Where/how to recycle no-longer-needed lights and/or the done-for-the-season tree? We just got two new answers to the latter. But first, the former:
RECYCLING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Thanks to Victoria for sending this link to KING 5‘s list of locations - while it starts off with details about a mostly Tacoma-centered program, it includes a mention that McLendon Hardware is recycling lights this year, and that means you don’t have to go far; they’re at 16th/102nd in White Center.
MORE OPTIONS FOR RECYCLING CHRISTMAS TREES: We’ve mentioned the city’s how-to a couple times, for curbside pickup or transfer-station dropoff. Just in, two other options: First, the West Seattle Rainbow Girls are again recycling trees by donation at the Masonic Hall in The Junction (40th/Edmunds), this Saturday (January 5), 10 am-2 pm. Second, Dreamscapes Landscaping owner Jacob Ford says he’ll pick your tree up for free in West Seattle – he mulches the branches and “makes things out of” the rest. 206-412-7707.
(1/1/12 Needle fireworks, photographed by David Hutchinson)
You already know about the midnight fireworks – visible from anywhere there’s a view of the Space Needle, or from anywhere there’s a screen (via KING 5). But long before we get to midnight – here are three things you can do BEFORE your late-night celebration of choice:
NEW YEAR’S EVE WALK: The Emerald City Wanderers have again organized “healthy, scenic walks” for tonight and tomorrow. Both start from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (California/Hanford, just south of West Seattle High School) and you can start any time between 4 and 7 pm today, 9 am-noon tomorrow. No charge, no competition, just show up and find out about the routes (different 5K and 10K routes each day).
LABYRINTH WALK: 6-8 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), in the Vashon Room (enter through the lower-level door off the parking lot on the west side of Fauntleroy Schoolhouse). Suggested $5 donation benefits the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse capital campaign. More info here.
NOT-SO-SILENT NIGHT PARADE, AND MORE: At 6 pm, the annual New Year’s Eve noisemaking parade takes off from the Highland Park Improvement Club, strolling through nearby – followed by the “Sage Comet” in the parking lot, and then indoors, new for this year, starting around 7, a special New Year’s Eve edition of the all-ages Corner Bar.
For the late-night parties, etc. – see the Holiday Guide!
10:10 AM: Thanks for the calls/texts. Another stoplight is having trouble in the Junction/Triangle area – this time, 35th and Alaska (the past few weeks have seen problems at 35th/Avalon, 42nd/Alaska, and California/Fauntleroy). When we checked with SDOT at the end of last week, they told us information on what’s causing these glitches wasn’t expected till post-holiday. P.S. If you see a significant road problem like a broken signal, BIG pothole, road obstacle, etc., the city hotline is 206-684-ROAD, unless it’s after-hours, in which case a major problem would go to 911.
10:25 AM UPDATE: Our crew says it’s stuck on red in all directions. So far, people are doing what they should be doing in case of malfunction – treating it as a 4-way stop (in this case, three ways).
Thanks to Lise Thivierge for sharing the view from the West Seattle Water Taxi dock at Seacrest (regular schedule today but no WT service tomorrow, by the way). Beautiful start to the year’s final day.
ADDED: More views! This one’s from Michelle Stathoulis via the WSB Facebook page:
Fittingly, there’s a Sunrise Heights landmark in the foreground of Michelle’s sunrise view! And from Arbor Heights, Debbie Pierce sends this sunrise-watching scene:
That’s Debbie’s pup Austin enjoying the view.
(Photo by Robert Kristofer Lanier, shared via the WSB Facebook page)
Tonight’s fog is expected to linger into the morning – but the newest forecast says that once it clears, it shouldn’t be back until after midnight tomorrow night; here’s hoping it holds off until the Space Needle’s fireworks show is over (12:07 am or so)! While tomorrow afternoon is projected as cloudy, the National Weather Service also thinks we might see sunshine again on New Year’s Day:
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: A view of the early-morning fog in The Junction, from John Kieltyka:
Also just spotted a Sunday afternoon skyline-with-fog view in the WSB Flickr group – see it here.
The latest edition of the New Year’s Eve/Day list in the WSB Holiday Guide includes a newly added option to get moving on the first day of the year: Wise Orchid Martial Arts‘ free Qigong/Tai-Chi class, 9 am Tuesday at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Other get-moving options on the list: 24-Hour Fitness in Westwood Village has a free Zumba/bootcamp event New Year’s Eve, Center Studio is offering a “Intention Practice to Welcome 2013″ class at 2 pm New Year’s Day afternoon, plus the morning Polar Bear Swim on Alki, NYE and NYD walks, lots more … find the updated New Year’s Eve/Day list in the Holiday Guide (which also links to the lists we’ve compiled of restaurants/coffee shops/grocery stores’ hours for NYE and NYD).
On the brink of a new year, many are looking to the future – including those who help others explore West Seattle’s past. The Log House Museum has a volunteer-training session coming up January 5th and needs “more helpers, as many as we can get!” according to museum manager Sarah Baylinson. She says that longtime volunteer Carol Vincent will lead the training at 11 am on the 5th (next Saturday), including a “brief historical tutorial” as well as the basics of being a docent. The museum’s in Alki, at 61st and Stevens.
Ben e-mailed today to ask, “Where/when do we take our Christmas trees to be removed? Will the city pick them up?” The info is in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, but for expediency’s sake, here’s the bottom line: Between now and January 13, you can put your tree out for curbside pickup OR take it to the transfer station (nearest one is in South Park). If it’s taller than six feet, you need to cut it to that length before putting it out for curbside pickup – or take it to the transfer station, where it can be intact up to eight feet tall. The city’s full how-to is here. P.S. Also remember, if you have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday trash/recycling/yard-waste/etc. pickup, it’ll be on one-day delay again this week because of the holiday – Tuesday pickup will be on Wednesday, and so on. Then it’s all back to normal the week of January 7th.
Lincoln Park Way was shut down for about half an hour while paramedics treated a bicyclist whose bike collided with a car near the intersection of Lincoln Park Way and Murray Avenue. The cyclist was transported by Medic One and police reopened the street as their investigation of the incident continues.
Two weeks after the Connecticut school massacre, another school is being made ready for the survivors of Sandy Hook, which may never reopen. It’s to be decorated with snowflakes made by well-wishers from across the country (this update from back East says some have even come from overseas!) – and today, you can be part of a West Seattle contribution. Just stop by Young at Art (5962 Fauntleroy Way SW) before 2 pm.
(Murky early morning in Lincoln Park – photo by Machel Spence)
The fog is lifting – we see some blue sky as we get ready to publish this – so say hello to sunshine on this second-to-last day of 2012! Here’s what’s up:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm as always! 44th and Alaska. Fresh winter vegetables, apples, cheese, meat, bread, soup, lots to check out.
SNOWFLAKES FOR SANDY HOOK: Also 10 am-2 pm – stop in at Young at Art (5962 Fauntleroy Way) any time before 2 and make a snowflake to be sent to Connecticut to help decorate the school that Sandy Hook’s students are now attending. Theresa from YAA says that if you haven’t talked about the incident with your kids, don’t worry – just let them know you’re making a snowflake to help decorate a school.
WEST SEATTLE ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: Game’s on! 11 am at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point (34th/Myrtle).
SHOPPING FOR NEW YEAR’S BEVERAGE(S)? Three WSB sponsors would be pleased to see you today: Capco Beverages Premier Liquor and Wine (41st and Alaska) is open 10 am-5 pm – here’s a coupon you can use; West Seattle Cellars (6026 California SW) is open noon-5 pm and continuing its annual sale; Stottle Winery‘s tasting room is open noon-6 pm (3400 Harbor Avenue SW);
CLOSING DAY FOR ‘WINTER WONDERETTES’: A 3 pm matinee today at ArtsWest is your last chance to see this year’s holiday musical “The Winter Wonderettes.”
ALL-AGES OPEN MIKE: 3 pm at Skylark Café and Club (3803 Delridge Way SW).
NEW YEAR’S EVE/DAY REMINDER: If you haven’t finalized your New Year’s Eve/Day plans yet – check out the updated list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. Last call to add info – just e-mail us the who/what/when/where at email@example.com!
(Seal Sitters photo by David Hutchinson)
Their barking can often be heard, especially from the Seacrest/Jack Block Park vicinity, but sea lions don’t often come to busy West Seattle shores to rest. This week, they did, reports Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters:
We responded to a report of a sea lion on the dock at Don Armeni on Thursday afternoon. The adult males rested there until 8 am the following morning.
Some folks we spoke to thought Seal Sitters responded only to seal pups. However, as our name Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network suggests, we respond to ALL dead or alive marine mammals from gray whales (such as the Arroyos gray whale) to small seal pups.
The California sea lion was an older adult, as evidenced by a lighter colored face. We consulted with WDFW’s marine mammal biologist, who thinks that perhaps the sea lion has some swollen lymph nodes or neck abscess. We have not seen him since he returned to Elliott Bay early Friday morning.
Seal Sitters’ number is easy to remember – 206-905-SEAL. More details of the sea lion’s sojourn are on Seal Sitters’ Blubberblog.
Seattle Police report tonight that they have found and arrested a man charged in connection with a home-invasion robbery in Morgan Junction. Tonight’s SPD Blotter report says it happened the morning of December 18th in the 6300 block of 42nd SW; a woman and her 3-year-old daughter were at home when two men kicked in the door, pointed guns at them, and demanded first money, then jewelry. According to the original police report, which we just looked up online after reading the SPD Blotter report, the victim recognized one of the robbers as “a former friend.” SPD Blotter says one suspect subsequently was charged with robbery, burglary, and harassment, and an arrest warrant was issued; that suspect, police revealed tonight, was found yesterday at a Kent motel and booked into jail. None of the online documents we’ve seen so far mention his name, though he is charged; we are still trying to find it and will add it to this story when we do.
Lots of unscheduled changes to the Fauntleroy ferry run recently – but one big change tomorrow is planned: It’s the start of the Washington State Ferries winter schedule, systemwide. You can see the schedule as a PDF here, or by using the drop-down on the left side of the WSF home page.
Three reports in tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup, and the first two are from two-time crime victims. First, from Alisa, near 21st and Cambridge:
My house was broken into again (Friday night) for the second time in 6 months. They took everything of value this time.
If you saw anything suspicious in the area last night – please let police know.
Second, from Ann in Gatewood, 3900 block of SW Austin:
Just wanted to report that my husband’s truck was broken into over night sometime between 11 pm and 7:30 am. A few items were taken but thankfully there was no damage to the truck. We have reported this to the police. This is the second time we’ve been hit this year. My car was stolen from the same block in the summer!!
Speaking of auto theft … while SPD does not include locations in its @getyourcarback tweets, they do announce the sector of the city when mentioning these on the scanner, and we heard this one described over the air – seconds after it appeared on Twitter – as being a theft from William sector (western West Seattle):
BLACK 97 HONDA ACCORD 4DOOR LIC/AJT5948.WA***DO NOT MAKE CONTACT CALL 911***
— Seattle Police(@getyourcarback) December 30, 2012
Songs and stories of Tibet will fill Kenyon Hall on January 13th, in a concert by the Switzerland-based Tibetan artist/activist in the video clip above, Loten Namling. We just received the announcement that West Seattle is on his U.S. tour schedule:
Loten Namling, winner of the 2012 Free Spirit Award, will present a concert of Tibetan songs and stories in West Seattle on January 13, 2013.
Loten is a noted Indian-born singer, musician artist, entertainer and cartoonist. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, speaks of Loten as “a singer with a voice.” Based in Switzerland, the artist travels worldwide with his Tibetan lute, singing the songs of the 6th Dalai Lama, Milarepa, as well as other traditional songs of Tibet and his own music. He connects songs of the past to the reality of the present, taking his audience on a journey through the landscape of Tibetan spirituality.
On May 16, 2012, Namling began what he called A Journey for Freedom – One Man, One Path, Tibet. He walked from the Swiss capital of Bern to Geneva, dragging a black coffin inscribed “Free Tibet,” in order to attract attention to the Tibetans’ worsening situation in today’s China. On July 8 he arrived in Geneva, where he performed with the Swiss band The Young Gods in a concert organized by Young Gods singer Franz Treichler in support of Loten’s action, held in front of Geneva UN headquarters. In October 2012, Namling was given the Free Spirit Award in McLeod Ganj for his “Journey of Freedom” march.
Kenyon Hall is at 7904 35th SW.
That photo by West Seattle’s Long Bach Nguyen shows Shell’s drillship Kulluk and tow vessel Aiviq as they headed north in Puget Sound on June 27th after Kulluk spent almost a year getting work done at Harbor Island’s Vigor Shipyards. Also leaving that day, Shell drillship Noble Discoverer, after almost three months at Vigor – and now, after a reportedly rocky summer in the Arctic, the vessels are all reported to be headed here again for what’s described as maintenance work – but the journey itself hasn’t been smooth sailing so far, according to multiple news reports. The Aiviq had engine trouble while towing the Kulluk in rough seas, and the Kulluk was almost evacuated today as a result – here’s the latest. Meantime, Noble Discoverer is reported to be under investigation for potential safety and pollution-control problems, but reports including this one say it’s being allowed to head this way for shipyard work. No Seattle ETA announced so far for either drilling vessel, but we will be checking; MarineTraffic.com shows Aiviq still off Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, while Noble Discoverer is listed as “out of range.”
Winter break often means road trip – and so it is with West Seattle High School‘s boys-varsity basketball players, who just wrapped up a tournament. Thanks to new head coach Keffrey Fazio and staff for this report:
The West Seattle High School Boys Basketball team participated in the 2012 Findlay Las Vegas Prep Championship basketball tournament (12/26-12/28).
The team played four games and finished with a record of 2-2. All four teams that the Wildcats drew were from the state of California. The team was led by 6’4″ senior LaTrey Newsome. He averaged 13 points per game during the tournament.
West Seattle also had strong tournament contributions from senior DiAndre Jackson and junior DeAndre Love, who both averaged 10 points per game during the tournament.
The Wildcats travel home Sunday, and will begin to prepare for a key league game vs. Franklin, Friday, January 4th at 745 pm at West Seattle High School.
Chief Sealth also is at a winter-break tournament, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and we’ll be checking on how that’s going.
“We live at Alki Point and spotted a family of Orcas this morning at 8:30 am heading south,” reports Jeff Morgante, sharing these photos (thank you!).
According to comments on the Orca Network‘s Facebook page, two groups of orcas have been sighted off Vashon/Maury Islands in the past few hours – this was likely one of them. As always, if you’re near the water, keep an eye out, since they’ll have to head back north sometime!
ADDED EARLY SUNDAY: Alisa Lemire Brooks recorded this video as one group headed back north in Colvos Passage, between Vashon’s west side and the Kitsap Peninsula:
She shared it via the aforementioned Orca Network page.
Middle-school or 9th-grade soccer player in the house? Next Wednesday-Friday (January 2-4), they’re invited to join a student-athlete-led soccer camp at Chief Sealth International High School. The camp, to run 9 am-noon each of those three days, is intended:
… to prepare younger students for the level of play that high-school soccer requires. It will cover basics, fitness, and what it’s like being a high-school athlete. The camp will be directed and coached by current Chief Sealth Varsity Soccer players, and supervised by a member of the coaching staff. These player coaches will be able to demonstrate the drills and actively coach and play alongside the kids.
The camp is being organized by Sealth varsity-soccer team member Mori Tsuchiya, and it’s for both boys and girls, with the fee just $10 for all three days, according to the official brochure, which contains many more details. Since the camp is just days away, please RSVP by e-mail to Sealth athletic director Sam Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as to the student organizer at email@example.com – you can sign up the first morning of camp, but they want to know you’re coming!
(Alki surfbirds, photographed last weekend by Danny McMillin, shared in the WSB Flickr group)
While you get ready for New Year’s Eve/Day celebrations (checked the Holiday Guide yet?), it’s a semi-quiet weekend, but still some activities/options:
TWO BLOOD DRIVES: If you can donate, this is the time of year when your blood donation is needed more than ever – and today, it’s convenient, with the Puget Sound Blood Center‘s Bloodmobile in The Junction 9 am-3 pm, 4700 block of 42nd SW (break 11:30-12:30) and at Holy Family‘s Tice Hall (18th/Roxbury), 10 am-4 pm (break noon-1 pm).
2 SHOWS ON ‘WINTER WONDERETTES’ 2ND-TO-LAST DAY: Tomorrow’s the final performance of “The Winter Wonderettes” at ArtsWest, but you have TWO chances to see the show today – 3 pm and 7:30 pm (tickets online here).
LIVE MUSIC AT C & P: Legend Heart performs at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) 6-8 pm tonight, 5612 California SW.
‘BLUES, BALLADS, BOOGIE WOOGIE’ AT KENYON HALL: 7:30 pm, with Orville Johnson & Casey McGill – e-mail Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW) for a reservation ASAP, firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BOURBONITES AT THE FEEDBACK: Rock out, Americana-style, at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 6451 California SW, 9:30 pm tonight with The Bourbonites.
Three reader reports in Crime Watch tonight. First:
That’s the spot near 21st and Roxbury where a truck knocked down a pole early this morning. The WSB’er who shared that photo and the next one heard it happen: “It sounded like someone dropped a dumpster from a 747,” he recalls. Looking around to see what happened, he saw a truck crashed into the pole, airbags deployed – and then, driven away before police arrived. Later, checking around the neighborhood, he discovered the suspect truck hadn’t gotten far:
Police, of course, were called again. Driver still on the loose, last we heard. Ahead, two other reports – thefts big and not-as-big:
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